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      Exploring Identity in Muslim Moroccan and Pakistani Immigrant Women


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          This study presents a qualitative investigation of how Muslim Moroccan and Pakistani female immigrants living in Italy conceptualize their cultural identity. Ten Moroccan and 10 Pakistani (adolescent and adult) women were interviewed through in-depth semi-structured interviews. The interviewees expressed a strong attachment to their culture of origin: their religion is a crucial aspect of their identity, along with certain cultural rules and traditional values. At the same time, both Moroccan and Pakistani participants were ambivalent toward and experienced difficulties in developing a connection to the host country, although the two groups exhibit their lack of connection to their host country in different ways: Moroccans’ self-representation is marked by a sense of foreignness and by a lack of an emotional connection with places where they are living while Pakistanis tend to express cultural distance and conflict with the host culture’s values. For both the Moroccan and Pakistani groups, the challenge of integration and biculturalism seems demanding in the Italian context and is marked by a deep feeling of emptiness, a lack of an emotional bond with the new country, and a strong cultural ambivalence. Finally, narrative themes are articulated across four interrelated dimensions (cultural, religious, gendered, spatial), revealing interesting differences based on national origin and generation.

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          Most cited references29

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          Ethnic identity in adolescents and adults: review of research.

          Ethnic identity is central to the psychological functioning of members of ethnic and racial minority groups, but research on the topic is fragmentary and inconclusive. This article is a review of 70 studies of ethnic identity published in refereed journals since 1972. The author discusses the ways in which ethnic identity has been defined and conceptualized, the components that have been measured, and empirical findings. The task of understanding ethnic identity is complicated because the uniqueness that distinguishes each group makes it difficult to draw general conclusions. A focus on the common elements that apply across groups could lead to a better understanding of ethnic identity.
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            MARC FRIED (2000)
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              Identifying barriers to Muslim integration in France.

              Is there a Muslim disadvantage in economic integration for second-generation immigrants to Europe? Previous research has failed to isolate the effect that religion may have on an immigrant family's labor market opportunities because other factors, such as country of origin or race, confound the result. This paper uses a correspondence test in the French labor market to identify and measure this religious effect. The results confirm that in the French labor market, anti-Muslim discrimination exists: a Muslim candidate is 2.5 times less likely to receive a job interview callback than is his or her Christian counterpart. A high-n survey reveals, consistent with expectations from the correspondence test, that second-generation Muslim households in France have lower income compared with matched Christian households. The paper thereby contributes to both substantive debates on the Muslim experience in Europe and methodological debates on how to measure discrimination. Following the National Academy of Sciences' 2001 recommendations on combining a variety of methodologies and applying them to real-world situations, this research identifies, measures, and infers consequences of discrimination based on religious affiliation, controlling for potentially confounding factors, such as race and country of origin.

                Author and article information

                Eur J Psychol
                Europe's Journal of Psychology
                Eur. J. Psychol.
                27 February 2015
                : 11
                : 1
                : 63-78
                [a ]Department of Psychology, Università Cattolica del Sacro Cuore, Milano, Italy
                [b ]Department of Psychology, Università Cattolica del Sacro Cuore, Brescia, Italy
                [3]Aalborg University, Aalborg, Denmark
                Author notes
                [* ]Department of Psychology, Università Cattolica del Sacro Cuore, Milano, Largo Gemelli, 1, 20123 Milano, Italy. cristina.giuliani@ 123456unicatt.it
                Copyright @

                This is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.

                : 21 July 2014
                : 13 November 2014
                Research Reports

                Muslim women,cultural identity,qualitative analysis,Pakistani and Moroccan immigration


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